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Ohio University police react quickly to threat

The Ohio University Police Department responded swiftly late yesterday afternoon to a report that a former Ohio University employee, Mark Hopton, had made threatening comments against current employees. Hopton was arrested yesterday evening and charged with making terroristic threats, a third-degree felony.

A current employee reported to police on Oct. 27 that Hopton told him over the phone he was “angry enough to shoot people in the HDL Center and HR Center” and that he had loaded guns. Ohio University police immediately secured both buildings for the safety of employees. 

Ohio University police obtained and executed search and arrest warrants with the help of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. Firearms were found in the home. Hopton was arrested without incident and held on a $10,000 bond, which he posted last evening.
Andrew Powers, Ohio University police chief, praised the efforts of all involved for their quick reaction to ensure the safety of employees and the community.

 “Ohio University police officers reacted swiftly and appropriately, and the leadership in Finance and Human Resources also helped to ensure the safety of employees and the Athens community,” he said. “We also want to acknowledge the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and the Athens City Police Department for their efforts in helping contain and resolve what could have been a very volatile situation. We were all prepared.”

Police continue to guard the buildings. There was minimal disruption to workers yesterday afternoon, and few students work or have business in either the HDL Center or the Human Resources Training Center (HRTC), which are both on Union Street.

Hopton formerly oversaw shared services for the University. He was notified April 1 that his position was being eliminated. His last day on the job was June 30.